With countless monikers like Rip City, Stumptown, and Beervana, I have added Bridge City to Portland Oregon’s list. The Willamette River runs right through the center of Portland with a total of 9 bridges (not counting rail) connecting downtown to Eastside neighborhood districts like Buckman, Sunnyside, and Ladd’s Addition. Some bridges are only doable by car, but others like the Burnside Bridge are pedestrian/ bike-friendly leading directly to streets flanked with former warehouses, factories, and well worn motels now home to a proliferation of breweries, artisan food producers, and boutique hotels like The Jupiter Hotel several blocks down Burnside Ave. from the bridge.
A drab two-story concrete slab 1960’s motor lodge before reopening after a complete rehab in 2004, The Jupiter is now a modern hotel and entertainment hub with the drab courtyard parking lot converted into an outdoor event space. Floor-to-ceiling windows were installed on one half of the north wing’s ground floor where you’ll find the front desk to the back of an art gallery showcasing rotating works of neighborhood artists. The entire property’s irreverent contemporary flair oozes hipster yet has a completely unpretentious vibe.
All of Jupiter’s 80 rooms are minimalist to the extent that they retain their concrete slab cores yet have interiors elevated to creative hideaways outfitted with wall murals, chalkboard surfaced doors for inspired doodling, free reliable wifi, and furnishings like Blu Dot type tables, platform beds, and lighting. Extra touches upon check in include prophylactic protection and earplugs placed discretely on your nightstand. Bathrooms feature stainless sinks and eco-friendly Natura bath soaps and creams. Lobby staff graciously brew pot after pot of complimentary locally roasted Water Avenue Coffee well into late morning.
Just remember there are prerequisites for staying here and enjoying the experience. Although divided into Chill Side (some rooms further away from the nightlife) and Bar Patio Side (rooms facing onsite Doug Fir Lounge‘s outdoor patio), you must either be part of the action partying until early morning or not be averse to sleeping with ear plugs. If that’s OK, you’ll be rewarded with full immersion into one of Portland’s many neighborhoods giving life to the bumper stickers and t-shirts you’ll see around emblazoned with “Keep Portland Weird”.
Many bands playing nightly at Doug Fir Lounge are coveted on the Pacific Northwest rock/indie/funk (or combo thereof) circuit. Best described as ”Paul Bunyan meets Chelsea diner”, Doug Fir’s interior resembles a large log cabin furnished with retro touches like slippery sumptuous brown vinyl seating. The bar is the flat side of none other than a huge Douglas Fire log sliced down the middle. When the house lights go down, and the sun comes up, The Doug Fir Lounge awaits your cravings with lumberjack breakfasts, grass-fed burgers, and a separate Only Local portion of their cocktail menu built exclusively using local ingredients like New Deal Distillery’s Hot Monkey Pepper Infused Vodka. Even if you don’t catch the live shows, tunes featuring bands set to play within the next few days are piped in during daytime via their online radio station.
Right outside your door, you get the convenience of Voodoo Doughnuts, Le Pigeon, Bunk Sandwiches and Sizzle Pie. Further afield, City State Diner serves up some mean breakfast plates with a signature bloody mary filled with your Basic 4 for a genuine liquid breakfast. Also don’t miss the nearby food cart pods that I found to be more eclectic than downtown.
Loads of breweries, distillery row, and non-chain shopping are all a quick walk or do like a Portlander and grab a bike. Jupiter offers rentals so you can hit the city’s network of bike lanes in no time exploring Portland’s 58 breweries on pre-planned bike routes outlined in Hop in the Saddle.
Check out the Jupiter’s ever changing packages like their “PDX Brews and Booze Experience”
Photos courtesy of The Jupiter Hotel, Mosca, & Steve Mirsky. Coverage made possible by participating in a partially sponsored visit.